At its last meeting for the term and the year, the Newton Board of Aldermen last night approved designs for an expansion and renovation project at F.A. Day Middle School.
The designs, which have been approved by the Design Review and Public Facilities Committees, plan to add on six classrooms, expand the school cafeteria, revamp administrative areas and rebuild the school's west entrance.
In addition, the board gave its OK to appropriate $643,500 for the design work and "other related expenses" for the renovations at F.A. Day Middle School.
The design funding was previously approved by the Public Facilities Committee (6-0-1 in favor), Programs and Services Committee (6-0 in favor) as well as the Finance Committee (7-0-1) in favor.
Deputy Superintendent/Chief Administrative Officer Sandy Guryan noted at the Dec. 12 School Committee meeting that the aldermen's approval of the F.A. Day designs will allow the city to start working on a bid for the project. The bid, she said, will likely go out in the spring.
Another finance item on last night's agenda asked the board to approve roughly $3.2 million to fund the actual renovations at F.A. Day. However, the board voted to refer the item to the 2012-2013 Board of Aldermen and will take up the matter once the new term starts in January.
The $3.2 million is the remaining balance of the $5 million Mayor Setti Warren initially set aside for the F.A. Day project and modular classrooms at three elementary schools.
However, in recent months the city and School Department has learned that the costs of mandatory sprinkler systems at F.A. Day and the three elementary schools could push the total project cost to more than $9 million.
Warren has said he plans to take up the schools' sprinkler needs in the city's Capital Improvement Plan, which was presented in early November.